03/15/2006 1:00AM

Fairmount Park track report


Fairmount Park opened its 90-day meet Tuesday afternoon under conditions far better than on opening day last year. Fairmount began its 2005 meet on a chilly, wet Friday evening, and, given that the opener was moved up 11 days this year, things could have been much worse weatherwise. Fans in attendance Tuesday, however, enjoyed the races under clear skies with the temperature well into the 40's.

On the track, things were not so different from last year. Trainer Ralph Martinez, dominant at Fairmount the last several years, won four of the 10 races. Three of the four winners were ridden by Emmanuel Cosme, who now becomes the early favorite to win his first Fairmount riding title.

Three allowance races highlight Friday's program, the first evening card of the meet. The featured 10th race, the $9,600 Quick Step for 4-year-olds and up at two furlongs, has attracted True Monarch, a winner three times in five attempts at the distance, including the Inaugural Dash on Fairmount's 2005 opening-day card. True Monarch will be looking for redemption after being disqualified from second in a similar spot in his final start of 2005. Temptation Eyes, who was placed ahead of True Monarch that day, also makes his seasonal debut in the Quick Step.